Category Archives: Dogs

Wordy Wednesday ~ March 14, 2018

Daylight Saving Time may have begun a couple of days but we’re absolutely gung-ho, mom. Yup, raring to start. Umm…give us five more minutes and we’ll be totally ready. Have you adapted to the time change as well as we have?

We made it to mid-week. Woof, woof. Should be all downhill toward Friday now.

Live, love, bark ūüźĺ

Monday Musings

Did you wake up easily enough today? Not the best way to start out the week, is it? Speaking of this week, we’re off to the hospital for a few days so our comments may (or may not) be late. Hopefully we can get some things set in advance on the scheduler but if not, now you know why. Now to grab that 87th cup of coffee. Have a great week.

Live, love, bark‚Ě£

It’s Baaacckk…

This is a public service announcement announcing ¬†the dreaded time change starts this weekend. Daylight Saving Time…otherwise known as ‘Hell’ around the Ranch is that bi-annual exercise in aggravation when you own a pet whose entire life is ruled by a routine that is not to be adjusted. How in the world do you explain a time change to a dog who is governed by the most regulated of internal clocks when it comes to the dinner hour? Don’t know about you, but my two guys are like the¬†Rolex¬†of the dog world and can rival any Swiss watch when it comes to dinner being served. But in the good news category, it is Friday so there’s that.

With Elsa’s anti-seizure medication needing to be administered at precise times, this complicates things even more. Ugh…why can’t they just leave well enough along?¬†Does the switch to DST cause you or your pet to be discombobulated?¬†

Here’s hoping you have a good weekend, despite the time change.

Live, love, bark‚Ě£

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ February 21, 2018

It’s Wednesday and while Sam and I head off to West Pines today, there’s lot’s happening in the Olympics and some of it is going to the dogs. Canadian’s figure skater Meagan Duhamel ¬†rescued a dog from a Korean meat farm last year. Ms. Duhamel, a vegan since 2008, along with and her figure skating coach husband, rescued a second pup.¬†The South Korean government even ordered restaurants close to the Olympic Stadium in Pyeongchang to stop serving dog meat.

Meagan Duhamel poses with her dog Moo-tae, in South Korea. (EK Park/Free Korean Dogs via AP)

Sam thinks the IOC should add synchronized peeing to the games. He would no doubt be disqualified and have to compete in the “olympic athlete competing for dogs’ (OAD) category and not as part of any country team.

Whether you’re watching and rooting for a particular country, I think we all root for Snoopy. He’ll always earn the gold in my heart. What’s been your favorite¬†Pyeongchang moment?

Live, love, bark‚Ě£

Happy New Year Áčó

Happy New Year! Today marks the start of the Chinese Year of the Dog. Here at the Ranch, we celebrate dogs all year long but starting today it’ll have extra meaning.¬†

Even the Post Office got into celebrating which is quite remarkable considering how many dogs tend to be…ahem…less than hospitable with mail deliveries [yeah, I’m talking ’bout you, Sam!]. Look at the beautiful new stamp they created in honor of {wo}man’s best fur-iend.

We know that dogs are loyal, friendly, and kind but did you know that those born under the sign of the dog are said to have some of those same traits? Honest, easygoing, and helpful to others, uprights born under the sign of the dog are less likely to seek money and power and more likely to try to make the world a better place.

A dog’s lucky numbers are 3, 4, and 9, and unlucky numbers are 1, 6, and 7, so keep those in mind when you buy Lotto tickets. Lucky colors are red, green, and purple while blue, white, and gold are unlucky. Those born on the¬†1st, 6th, 7th, 17th, 21st, 24th, 26th, 28th or the 30th day of the month in the Chinese lunar calendar are said to be the luckiest. Though I’m not very well versed in Chinese horoscopes, the three links here provide a lot of info for those interested and provide the basis of material for this post.

So what’s in store for 2018?

2018 is said to be an unlucky year for people born under the sign of the dog. Thank goodness I’m glad to have been here a while. I have enough bad luck without tempting ¬†Chinese astrology. It appears that years that share your birth sign are thought to bring bad luck and recommendations are for dogs to stay calm and try to relax. How do you get a pogo stick to relax for a whole year? Just wondering out loud.

New industrial projects or energy developments for 2018 are predicted to be successful, while endeavors based on greed and individual drive will likely be rejected. Familial relationships will be of significance this year. This could be seen as a year of hope that’s filled with the kind of dialogue that helps cultures achieve solidarity and reject indifference. We can only hope that rings true in 2018.

Got any thoughts on the Year of the Dog? Do you follow horoscopes in general? Not to sound creepy, but what’s¬†your year/sign? For the record, I’m an Ox, something my family has suggested over the years.

On a separate note, our friend Friday is here which means the weekend is just waiting for us. Any plans for ringing in the Chinese New Year?

Live, love, bark‚Ě£

Tuesday Tails

Who doesn’t love an adorable puppy who’s just found its voice? There’s nothing cuter than when they’ve noticed their reflection in a mirror or encountered something unusual in their day, right? But when that pup grows up and continues to bark, it’s not as adorable, is it? What’s a responsible dog ‘pawrent’ supposed to do?

The problem with this kind of adorableness is too many dog pawrents actively encourage the barking as the puppy grows up into its world. What may have been cute at 10 weeks of age, can grate on people’s nerves, frighten passers-by or annoy the neighbors when that same 10 week old puppy is now a 10-year-old dog who still barks its head off.

I think we can all agree that barking is a form of communication. Did you know there are at least 7 different kinds of barks?

  • The ‘Hello’ Bark’ ~ Dog encounters people or other dogs and its body is relaxed and the tail is wagging. ¬†This is a friendly greeting kind of bark.
  • Distress Bark ~ Barking at all movement or unexpected noises. Body is stiff and jumping forward may accompany each bark.
  • Territorial Bark ~ Beware, you’ve invaded my space.
  • Look at Me Bark ~ Vying for attention, treat, or play.
  • Communal Bark ~ Following the leader. Similar to the racket at a shelter.
  • Obsessive Bark ~ ¬†Repetitive barking often while running back and forth at a fence. One of my neighbors dog falls in this category. The dog often barks non-stop for hours on end.
  • Let Me Outa Here ~ A frustration bark when seeing a dog that cannot be greeted.

Obviously the last two types of barks are not welcome and need attention. And we’re not talking about screaming at the top of your lungs to ‘shut up’ like my neighbor. That dog needs an outlet for his energy, like a seriously long walk.

Naturally preventing of all barking (good luck even trying that strategy) is foolish. Barking is natural and the way dogs communicate. It is possible however to train a dog to stop barking. Be patient. A voice command such as “No Bark!” accompanied by a reward when complied with makes gains possible. When the dog starts to bark, particularly in the house, and you’ve given the “No Bark!” command (with loads of praise on compliance), follow-up with quick and timely delivered “Wanna a Treat?” question. Distraction can work wonders during training. Gradually reduce the number of treats followed by lots of praise but keep the praise ongoing. You can also use negative reinforcement (when the dog barks: tension is applied through a head halter or harness reminding your pet of your disapproval when you’ve given the “No Bark” command). We tend to find positive reinforcement is a far more effective way when it comes to all training sessions.

It’s not necessary to punish or berate your pup. ‘Barking’ back at your dog is the ultimate exercise in futility.

Other strategies to employ may include providing a crate for a safe spot for a fearful dog. Often times, barking is the result of boredom (as in the case of my neighbor dog). Exercise and mental stimulation helps dogs achieve balance. Remember dogs are creatures of habit and a deviation to their routine can trigger excessive barking. Best to stay with the game plan for the pawfect’ chill-dog.

Do you have any tips regarding how you addressed obsessive barking?

Live, love, bark! ‚̧

Throwback Thursday~Yeah…we’ve been away a while

Hi-ya, ‘member us? It’s me, Sam. You know, Chief Knucklehead and Standard Poodle¬†Extraordinaire from the Ranch. Lately it’s been a rough time here. We lost a couple of beloved pups in our extended family (R.I.P. Aria, aka Big Dawg and cutie pie Wriggly-we hope you’re running free and enjoying life at the Rainbow Bridge-we hope to have a better memorial post once we can locate a couple of photos) and Mom’s been out of town for too long handling a family emergency with her mom that we hope, (fingers crossed) has been resolved. Can I get a woof, woof?! Mom came back Tuesday evening and boy am I and my goofy Ninja sister thrilled. I haven’t stopped wagging my tail and won’t let her out of my sight for a second, which has made her trips to the water torture room kind of interesting.¬†

We hope to be back full-time blogging after mom¬†decompresses¬†catches her breath like we used to, so we hope you’ll be patient with all of us. And I know she is ever so grateful for those of you who have reached out and asked what’s up with us. We appreciate your kindness, concern and fur-iendship. In the meantime, look what I dug up out of the archive¬†backyard. My predecessors, McKenzie, Eliot and Crosby. I know, I hear your ‘awww’s through the screen and admit they were pretty adorable. I think McKenzie looks like he could have been the Ninja’s older brother. Eliot always looked like a giant stuffed toy and Crosby was mom’s first dog when she moved to Denver who also had the dreaded Epi-Monster visit him way too many times. I think mom might have been able to treat his condition better now days than she did back in those olden days. She’s learned a lot with Elsa which seems to make a difference since the monster hasn’t visited her for a number of months. We hope you’re all doing well, staying warm, safe and cozy. So what have we miss?

L to R McKenzie, Eliot and Crosby (circa 1997)

Live, love, bark!¬†‚̧Գé